A novel course paradigm for teaching collaborative product development in distributed environments

Yung I. Lin, Cheng Hung Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Collaborative product development (CPD) has recently become one of the important business strategies for the companies to remain competent in the Greater China region. Geographically separate companies such as design studios and manufacturers are required to participate in the product development process in a dispersed manner. Traditional product design courses may not be able to equip students with working knowledge in this regard. To overcome this deficiency, we have developed a novel course paradigm that combines two modular courses: manufacturing engineering (ME) and new product development (NPD). The students from the two courses are grouped into individual teams, and each team is required to complete a product development project within one semester. In each team, the ME students act as the engineering staff while the NPD students take the roles of marketing people and project managers. However, the ME and NPD students are required to collaborate remotely over the Internet. Face-to-face communication is deemed as being unavailable so as to mimic the real CPD scenarios. The tasks and materials involved in this new course include team building, project management, budget control, outsourcing, product design, prototyping, and ICT tools, e.g. teleconferencing, CAD, and PDM. The feedbacks from the graduated students working in industry validate the education goals in the course design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • CAD
  • PDM
  • design collaboration
  • product development
  • project management

Cite this